We asked this month's spotlight a few questions. Below are his answers.
AR: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
NS: I'm a new father (my son, Nelson C. Silverio III was born on Aug. 9, 2011); husband to my beautiful wife, [Gabriela, B.B.E. 2002, M.E.E. 2003], whom I met at Catholic University; New York Yankee fan; and music fan who enjoys spending time with friends and family.
AR: How did Catholic University prepare you for your current career? Any specific courses that you took/experiences you had while a student?
NS: Catholic University provided me with a balanced education. Meaning, that while my core business classes were certainly instrumental in my development, classes such as metaphysics and philosophy really allowed for me to think about things critically and differently than I had before being exposed to those principles. Some of the other schools I considered offered curriculums that were way too business-centric with no room to expand your knowledge outside of the core curriculum.
One of the greatest selling points for attending Catholic University for me was that while I always knew I wanted to be in business, I wanted to make sure I got a balanced education and CUA delivered that education to me.
AR: Were there any specific faculty members that mentored you?
NS: I'll be forever grateful to Dr. Zampelli, given that while I dislike math and statistics, he taught it with such zeal and enthusiasm that it made the class as enjoyable as possible. He also taught me that even the most mundane of subjects can be made interesting if presented properly. If we ever buy a family dog we'll make sure to name him Poisson after the statistical theory that I most closely associate with Dr. Zampelli, due to the fact that he pronounced it with one of the worst French accents I've ever heard!
I'd certainly like to single out former director of career services Dr. Alan Goodman for giving me my first (and only) work-study job and a wealth of information on how to be a professional in every sense of the word.
Adjunct Professor George Glaros taught us marketing and did so from the point of view of someone in the business world. It's sometimes hard for me to focus when discussing business theory, but his real-life examples and applications gave me some great perspective.
AR: What clubs and organizations were you a part of, if any? How did they prepare you?
NS: I'm proud to say I was a member of the inaugural President's Society under Bishop (then Father) O'Connell. I took part in a Cardinals dinner in Philadelphia in 2001, which taught me the art of preparation, good research, and connecting the dots. Bishop O'Connell and his staff made sure I escorted and sat at Cardinal McCarrick's table, who I learned at dinner had served as President of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, where I was raised, which led to a great conversation and exchange of ideas. That assignment has taught me to always be prepared and think things through, especially when I organize events and put together our players with members of the media.
AR: How is it to work for the PGA TOUR? What does a typical day consist of?
NS: Working for the PGA TOUR is a fantastic opportunity that I relish and take advantage of every day. I work in the PGA TOUR communications department, which is in charge of communicating the PGA TOUR's message to the public and the media. Among our responsibilities is acting as liaison between the players and the members of the media so no day is typical given the fact that we have over 200 players and a media landscape that is changing rapidly. My job while I'm onsite at events, such as the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in nearby Potomac, Md., consists of arranging pre-tournament interviews between players and the media in attendance as well as the leaders of the event after each round. We work year-round with the local and national media to make sure they get what they need, and to make sure our stories and organizations are portrayed in the most positive light possible while delivering value back to our sponsors.
I was also a member of the team that led golf's bid for inclusion in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This project was very special given that golf had been absent from the Olympics for over 100 years and we earned our bid by having our proposal beat out seven other sports battling for two spots on the 2016 roster. We have now moved on to the business of working with the host organization in Rio to build the golf course that will host the competition.
In addition to the duties I explained before, I was recently named director of communications and marketing for PGA Tour Latinoamérica, a new tour consisting of 11 events throughout Latin America. Having grown up in a bilingual household in Puerto Rico, together with my CUA education and experience at the PGA TOUR, I think have prepared me well for this new endeavor, which I'm really excited to pursue.
AR: What sparked your interest in working for the PGA TOUR and with golf?
NS: The PGA TOUR's business model, which has allowed for over $1 billion (projected $2 billion by 2013) to be donated to charity since our inception, aligns with my personal values of giving back to the community. Apart from our contribution to the communities in which we play, the breadth of our company, with everything from a TV production company, golf course design area, communications, sales, and golf course management departments, offers opportunities to learn a myriad of different businesses while working for the TOUR. The fact that they offer a very competitive internship program in different areas of the company intrigued me, not only because I was a golf fan, but also because that they give college students opportunities to learn the business from the inside.
I've had the opportunity to watch Tiger Woods as a fan and now have worked with him. The impact he's had on the game of golf can truly not be measured. I know he inspired a lot of people in my age bracket to take a look at golf as not only a leisure activity but as a profession.
AR: Who is the most interesting person you have met while working with the PGA TOUR?
NS: I've been fortunate in my position to travel around the world to tournaments to meet and work with some very interesting people from pop stars, such as Justin Timberlake to professional athletes from other sports, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, heads of state and of course our players.
It wouldn't be fair to single out a specific person since I've learned a lot from each person I met along the way by listening to what they have to say and observing how they operate. I've always said that the day meeting legendary golfers and personalities feels normal, that's the day I will quit.
AR: What is your favorite course on the TOUR? What course would you recommend to golfing enthusiasts?
NS: My favorite course on TOUR is a tie between Pebble Beach, in California and The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. They are not only great golf courses, but they are also open to the public which unlike some of the other courses we play on TOUR, which means anyone has a chance to test their games on the same course the professionals do. That is one of the great aspects of our sports and the pro-ams we hold on Wednesdays -- in which other sport can you play alongside the professional on the same court/field/course as them? As a Yankee fan I know I'll never be able to look to my left and see Derek Jeter playing shortstop as I play third base at Yankee Stadium, but I know I could have the opportunity to play alongside the best golf professionals in the world on the same course.
AR: Any advice you would give to CUA alumni looking to break into a similar career?
NS: What I've learned in nearly 10 years in the sports industry is that it's a relatively small community of professionals. Sports, while a fun industry to work in, it is certainly not all fun and games and requires dedication due to the long hours (sports aren't played 9-5). That said, internships are the ideal way to meet and network within the industry, just know that we actually do work! While the perks are great there's a lot of work that goes into enjoying those perks. I would like to also point out that playing golf well is note a pre-requisite to work at the PGA TOUR, if it were I never would have been considered!
AR: Any additional information you would like to include.
NS: I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at CUA and am very grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to attend the school. I not only received a first-class education in a world-class city, I also met my wife at CUA. My time spent in Gibbons Hall across from the beautiful mall and National Shrine shaped me in ways that have thoroughly benefited me in my career. I would also like to take this space to confess something to the maintenance crew that took care of the mall across from Gibbons. Those divots you found in the mornings were mine, practicing my wedge shots at night, who knew they would lead to my first and only real job after graduating from CUA.